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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*Updated

Prediction: JAC 6, NE 27

The Jaguars are one of the six 7-7 teams still pretending that they have a chance for a wildcard despite their 2-4 road record with two road games left to play. The Patriots have won their last two games and at 9-5 will clinch the division with a win this week. The Patriots are 7-0 at home.

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 12-14 +6.5 44.5
2 ARI 17-31 -3 43
3 @HOU 31-24 +4 46.5
4 TEN 37-17 +3 41.5
5 @SEA 0-41 -3 40
6 STL 23-20 -9.5 43
7 BYE - - -
8 @TEN 13-30 +3 44
9 KC 24-21 -6.5 42
10 @NYJ 24-22 +6.5 41
11 BUF 18-15 -9 41
12 @SF 3-20 +3 42.5
13 HOU 23-18 -1 47.5
14 MIA 10-14 -3 43
15 IND 31-35 +3 42
16 @NE - +8 43.5
17 @CLE - - -
JAX at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard     170
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 70 30  
TE Marcedes Lewis   30  
WR Torry Holt   40  
WR Mike Sims-Walker   40  
WR Mike Thomas   30  
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The Jaguars last two losses - both home stands versus the Colts and Dolphins - have really already spelled the last of the season for the Jaguars. Three of the last four road games saw the Jaguars unable to score more than one touchdown in the game and there is a concern that Maurice Jones-Drew has worn down this year. The Jags head towards their offseason having already established a very good #1 receiver but not much else was accomplished.

Quarterback: David Garrard has done little to change the perception that he will never get beyond the hump to being a good NFL quarterback. That is not to say he did not have the occasional good passing effort. But in a most telling statistic, consider that Garrard has 13 passing touchdowns this season. Over his six away games, they all combined to produce exactly one touchdown. The other five had no passing scores and bounced around the 200-yard mark. His only saving grace has been the two times he ran in a score.

The Patriots have only allowed six passing touchdowns in their stadium and only once did a passer have more than 220 yards. No reason to expect that Garrard is going to change now.

Running Backs: There is a concern that Maurice Jones-Drew is wearing down though he only has 278 carries so far - hardly a huge volume but more than the 197 he had as a career high. Jones rushed for 110 yards on 27 carries and one score last week against the visiting Colts but it was his first effort over 75 rushing yards for the previous five weeks. His 15 rushing scores ties him with Adrian Peterson for tops in the NFL.

Jones-Drew faces a Patriots rush defense that is very good - only three rushing touchdowns allowed this year. But the Pats will give up at least some yardage so expect a moderate game here with decent yards and no score.

Wide Receivers: Mike Sims-Walker was held out of practice on Tuesday to rest his calf but it is the same injury that he has been nursing for a while now and he had six catches for 64 yards and a score last week. Sims Walker has seven touchdowns this season but only one came in a road game and he only had one week where he gained more than 49 yards away from Jacksonville. That bodes poorly for this week since Sims-Walker has all but two of the receiving touchdowns by the wideouts. Torry Holt has been locked around 50 yards or so when he has left Jacksonville.

The Patriots have only allowed three receivers to score in Gillette Stadium this year. Sims-Walker is the only likely one to score but he has not been there in road games.

Tight Ends: Marcedes Lewis has been slightly better in yards on the road but has not scored since week four. He's a marginal play for a fantasy team at best.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 15 13 15 19 27 32
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 9 5 22 6 2 3


New England Patriots (9-5)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 BUF 25-24 -10.5 47
2 @NYJ 9-16 -6 46
3 ATL 26-10 -4 44.5
4 BAL 27-21 -2 44.5
5 @DEN 17-20 -3.5 41.5
6 TEN 59-0 -9.5 43
7 @TB 35-7 -15.5 44.5
8 BYE BYE - -
9 MIA 27-17 -10.5 47
10 @IND 34-35 +1 48
11 NYJ 31-14 -10.5 45
12 @NO 17-38 +3 56
13 @MIA 21-22 -4.5 46
14 CAR 20-10 -12.5 43.5
15 @BUF 17-10 -6.5 41.5
16 JAC - -8 43.5
17 @HOU - - -
NE vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady     280,2
RB Laurence Maroney 70 10  
TE Ben Watson   20  
WR Randy Moss   90,2  
WR Wes Welker   110  
WR Sam Aiken   30  
PK Stephen Gostowski 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: While the Patriots have hardly been an offensive machine lately, they have manage to win two straight while the rest of the AFC East fell back and now have a shot a winning the division this week and then resting players in week 17 in the meaningless game in Houston. The extra week will help the Patriots figure out why they are 7-0 at home but only 2-5 in road games. That's going to be a huge problem in about four weeks.

I like a defensive score in this game.

Quarterback: No question that Tom Brady is playing hurt and a week off would do him a lot of good. Brady has been a major disappointment down the stretch with only five touchdowns over the last five games. His last two games posted only one score each and no more than 195 yards. Last week was a new low - 115 yards and a score right when teams were in fantasy playoffs.

This could be a good week for Brady since the Jaguars have never failed to allow at least one passing score to a road opponent's quarterback and most end up with two or more. Last week in Jacksonville, Manning laid 308 yards and four scores on them. I'll credit Brady with one of his better games as of late and this is his best matchup for a while but he's clearly not been as productive lately as in past seasons. The Jags are better at stopping the run - Brady will have to pass.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor may once again be able to play on a limited basis this week but he's more likely to be saved for the playoffs. Laurence Maroney has continued to be a surprisingly decent fantasy option and just scored his ninth touchdown on the season. As always, Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris are still involved in an ever changing ratio but at least Maroney has been consistent enough to be a reliable starter.

I will project only for Maroney but as always - use a Patriots back at your own risk.

The Jaguars are a very good rush defense and take away what Chris Johnson did to them and they are easily top five. On the road - a bit less formidable. They have only allowed seven rushing scores this season and just two efforts over 100 yards. Look for Maroney to gain yards but probably not score.

Wide Receivers: The Jaguars soft secondary has already allowed nine scores to wideouts in road games and seven players have been at or over 100 yards as a receiver against them. This is the #31 defense in stopping wide receivers. Expect nice games from both Randy Moss and Wes Welker before they take it easy in week 17. The duo should crank out nice fantasy points this week when you need them the most.

Tight Ends: Ben Watson has marginal fantasy value but he is too inconsistent to merit a fantasy start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 7 9 2 26 6 20
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 27 7 31 13 17 18

The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
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